Thursday, January 24, 2013

Charlie Co's Ai Weiwei


Charlie Co working on his Ai Weiwei sculpture
Charlie Co, along with SecretFresh Gallery, launches his second artist collectible,  "Ai Weiwei", on February 7, 2013 at Secret Fresh's booth at the Art Fair Philippines. Based from his 2012 oil on canvas painting "Comrade Ai Weiwei in the Year of the Dragon", the Ai Weiwei toy , made of resin, will only have a limited edition of 30 pieces and 5 pieces which will be personally handpainted by Charlie himself. 

"COMRADE AI WEIWEI IN THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON"

Ai Weiwei is a Chinese contemporary artist known for his political activitism. He has openly criticized the Chinese government and  its stance for human rights and has been apprehended and jailed in Beijing.
Charlie sees Ai Weiwei as icon for his radical thinking. In his painting, he depicts the Chinese artist as a brave and courageous individual. Ai Weiwei's hair is as fiery as his ideas. His bright red beard is like the fire that comes out of a Dragon's mouth.  His eyes are like white pearls against a black background, Charlie's interpretation that Ai Weiwei's views are only either black or white, and no grey areas. 



"Ai Weiwei On The Pushmepullyou" 45 in x 61 in / 2012




Along with the launching of the  toy, Charlie also puts up on exhibition a recent painting "Ai Weiwei on the Pushmepullyou" (45 in X 61 in).

Ai Weiwei rides the legendary animal from the storybooks of Dr. Dolittle called the Pushmepullyou, a horse with two heads and two front legs. Both heads want to go to opposite directions. Ai Weiwei rides the animal with two different idealsms, the eastern and the western. The background is filled with clouds with eyes, showing that his every move is being watched.




Charlie Co's Ai Weiwei sculptures at the Secretfresh booth at the Art Fair Philippines 2013

Thursday, November 29, 2012

BLUE MEN IN BLACK SUITS

After the great reception of the 3D version of the "Checkmates" early 2012 (now on display in Rustan's Shangri-la EDSA) , Charlie Co once again challenges himself to create a bigger set of sculptures. This time, 8-foot tall figures of his version of mannequins dressed in business suits. One figure is calling on his mobile phone and the other, texting. They have winding keys attached to their backs, Charlie's representation of today's busy businessmen who are on their mobile phones all day, transacting and closing deals.

artist's statement

BLUE MEN IN BLACK SUITS



One is reading the newspaper, updating himself on the current business news. One is looking at his watch, ever aware that time is important to any business transactions.  The third is talking on his mobile phone, making or closing deals even on the go. Lastly, one is texting in one hand with another mobile phone in the other, seeing the need to access information in more ways than one.

Such are the scenes you see of businessmen on the streets of all business districts.

This art installation is my interpretation of these people. They have winding keys on their backs like they have become mechanical in a way that their everyday lives have become a routine. They are all wearing black suits, but each one has their own character, showing in the color of their shoes and the designs of their ties. They are faceless, with no particular features except that their eyes are like targets because they are focusing only on one thing, and that is closing those deals.

Based on my own unique design and style, each of these 8 feet tall sculptures are all handmade with the help of my selected artist friends.  Far from the clean and smooth lines of computerized and machine made sculptures, I intentionally created them by artists’ hands to show that businessmen, no matter how robotic their lives may be, are still human.

My exhibition may look comical but the intention is to bring lightness and amusement to the otherwise serious, money-driven environment.
-CHARLIE CO 
THE BLUE MEN AT THE PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE BUILDING ALONG AYALA AVE., MAKATI, METRO MANILA




THE BLUE MEN AT THE LOBBY OF DEUTSCHE BANK A THE BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY, TAGUIG














Charlie adds two more sculptures to his Talk and Text figures. This time one is reading a newspaper and the other, looking at his watch. Such are scenes you see of businessmen living their daily lives...








Wednesday, September 19, 2012

CHARLIE CO PAPER WORKS


BAR GIRLS / pen and ink / 2007

MASTER CUTTERS / pen and ink on paper / 2007

WHO GOT THE MONEY / PEN AND INK ON PAPER / 2007

AIR RAID / PEN AND INK ON PAPER / 2003



PIETA / 11 X 15 inches / 2014 / oil pastel on paper

WHITE CHRIST / 11 x 15 inches / oil pastel on paper / 2014






SWINE PARANOIA - WHAT'S NEXT / 4 X 4 / 2009 / charcoal on paper

HERE COMES MR. SMILEY / 4 X 4 / 2009 / charcoal on paper

BAIL OUT / 4 X 4 / 2009 / Charcoal on Paper


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

CHARLIE CO: OIL ON CANVAS PAINTINGS

THE GROCERY MAN / 4 ft x 4 ft / acrylic on canvas / 2014

THE WATCHERS / 24 X 24 inches / acrylic on canvas / 2014

POLITICS OF WAR / 4 X 5 ft / acrylic on canvas / 2014
OUT OF THE WOODS / 3 ft x 3 ft / acrylic on canvas / 2014

PIETA / 36 in x 36 in / acrylic on canvas / 2014



BEYOND THE CROSS / 27.5 in x 39 in / acrylic on canvas / 2014


CROW'S HOTLINE / 24 in x 24 in / 2013








   
INSIDE THE HOUSE OF RAY / 3 X 3 / OIL ON CANVAS / 2013
"FROM ANOTHER CONTINENT IN AN EVER CHANGING WORLD" / 2 ft x 2 ft / oil on canvas




"THE BLUE CAPED PINOCCHIOS"  4 x 4 ft / 2012 / oil on canvas







"THE MYSTERIOUS LADY BIRD" / 4 ft x 4 ft / 2012



"BICYCLE RIDER ON A MYSTERIOUS NIGHT /  3 ft x 3 ft  / 2012
HALLOWEEN CHAIR / 9 ft x 7 ft / Oil on Canvas 

TORMENTED SOUL / 5 ft x 8 ft / oil on canvas / 2011


ART WOLVES / 152 x 355 cm / 2008 / oil on canvas
"THE VISITOR" / 5 ft x 8 ft / 2011


"WHAT A FRAGILE WORLD" / 7ft x 9 ft / 2009

"TIANENMEN MEN: NEW PEOPLE'S ARMY / 8 ft x 20 ft / 2007 (diptych)

"THE MAESTRO AND HIS BARKERS" / 4 ft x 5 ft / 2005








Monday, September 17, 2012

FLOATING DREAMER'S CAROUSEL (MAJIKA 2011)


 The Masskara Festival was the brainchild of Bacolod's artists led by cartoonist Ely Santiago in the early 1980's. I believe no festival can ever be successful without artists' inputs. Who can design elaborate costumes? Who can ever think of grand stage designs? Who can make ordinary people dance in rhythm? Choreographers, costume designers, stage designers,  directors, light designers, music composers...yes they're all artists that make up what the Masskara Festival is all about. In the past few years, Charlie Co was given a task by Silver Masskara Foundation's Eli Tajanlangit to come up with an art exhibition as one of the highlights of the festival, called Majika (magic). With the help of Bacolod's many talented artists, Charlie has come up with 8 Majika exhibitions already and year after year, it has gained popularity and curiosity from the thousands of local and foreign guests who come in from everywhere to celebrate the Masskara Festival.  Perhaps  the most famous was the Floating Dreamer's Carousel, an installation of giant paper boats with surreal figures made of paper mache and styrofoam (unfortunately, the installation was not made to last). But what was supposed to be only a two-week stay at the New Government Center (NGC), the floating Dreamer's Carousel was on display for three months because it gathered so many people every day at the NGC for picture taking. It was indeed a successful exhibition and it wouldn't have been possible without the help of his fellow artist Neil Benavente, an expert on stage design and sculptures and several young artists and artisans who painstakingly put the details of each paper boat.

 






CHARLIE CO as co-curator for the Visayan Region for the Singapore Biennial 2013

Charlie Co, together with Claro "Chitz" Ramirez, Kawayan de Guia and Abraham Garcia, were chosen as co-curators for the Philippines in the Singapore Biennial 2013 with Joyce Toh as senior curator. Charlie for the Visayas, Claro for Central Luzon, Kawayan for Northern Luzon and Abe for Mindanao.
A 6-day workshop was held at the Singapore Art Museum on September 3-7, 2012 for all curators and co-curators from 8 Southeast Asian countries to brainstorm on the biennial's theme "If The World Changed" (http://www.singaporeartmuseum.sg/sb2013/).

If The World Changed, how differently will we lead our lives, what will we be doing, and will we create a better tomorrow? How do we respond today?
The 4th Singapore Biennale If The World Changed focuses on the potential of contemporary art to awaken and articulate divergent visions of what we want the world to be. Both a statement and a question, it speaks to the idealism and hope in art-making, and connects art practice to values we hold close to our hearts and the aspirations we are willing to strive for.
Driven by a sense of uncertainty about the state of 21st century contemporary society, the premise If The World Changed is also a reflection on both the achievements and inherent limitations of prevailing systems of belief of which today’s world is based upon.
If the World Changed, will we change or will we continue on our present path?
An invitation to all to reconsider the world we live in, and the world we want to live in, If The World Changed is a proposition for the possibilities of tomorrow awakened by the urgencies of today.”

Joyce Toh, one of the senior curators of the Singapore Art Museum, felt Charlie Co was a good choice to be co-curator from the Visayas, considering his long history of being involved in the art community in his region. Charlie is one of the co-founders of the Black Artists in Asia, which started the Viva-Excon, a biennial art exhibition and conference involving all the Visayan Islands that started in 1990 in Bacolod City. Since then it has gathered more than 200 artist from all over the Visayas participating in one of the longest-running biennials in the the Philippines. Charlie has also been actively promoting local artists in Bacolod through Gallery Orange (Lopue's Annex Bldg., Mandalagan, Bacolod City). 

Charlie Co introducing himself to the curatorial team on the first day of the workshop

Deep in discussion

Joyce Toh, giving a brief introduction of the Philippines

Charlie Co showing his power point presentation about contemporary art in the Visayas

Press conference with the media

Pictorials for the Singapore Biennial's catalog and press releases

The Philippine Team: Abraham Garcia, Claro Ramires, Charlie Co and Kawayan de Guia with the SB 2013 co-chair Mr. Sabapathy

Break time with senior curator Joyce Toh